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24 is an American serial action/drama television series. Broadcast by Fox in the United States and syndicated worldwide, the show first aired on November 6, 2001, with an initial 13 episodes (the next 11 episodes were later ordered). 24 is the second longest-running espionage series in television history, behind the original Mission: Impossible series by number of episodes and The Avengers by longevity of broadcast. However, after the conclusion of the eighth season, 24 will become the record holder in both these categories.

24 is broadcast in the semblance of real time, with each season depicting a 24-hour period in the life of Jack Bauer, who works with the United States government as it fights fictitious terrorist threats to the United States. Bauer is often in the field for the Los Angelesmarker Counter Terrorist Unit as it tries to safeguard the nation from terrorist threats. The show also follows the actions of other CTU agents, government officials and terrorists associated with the plot. The first six seasons of the show were all based in Los Angelesmarker and nearby California locations—both real and fictional. Occasionally other locations have been featured as well—most notably, Washington, D.C.marker, where a portion of the fourth and sixth seasons took place. Departing from tradition, the seventh season is set primarily in Washington, D.C. Season 8 is to take place in New York City. No decision has been made on whether the show will return for a ninth season.

After leading actor Kiefer Sutherland won a Golden Globe for his role in the first 10 episodes, the ratings of the show increased, leading FOX to order the second half of the season. A feature film based on the show is being planned.

The seventh season, originally scheduled to premiere on January 13, 2008, was postponed in the wake of the 2007-08 Writers Guild of America strike. To ensure a nonstop season, a trademark of the show since the start of its fourth season in January 2005, the season was postponed a full year until January 2009. To help offset the strike-induced delay, the show returned on November 23, 2008 with a feature-length TV movie, 24: Redemption, that takes place nearly four years after season six and sets up the story that launched season seven.

Series overview

An example of a 24 split-screen with the running clock, from the season 7 finale.
24 is a thriller which is shown in "real-time", with each minute of airtime corresponding to a minute in the lives of the characters, often depicts torture scenes, and often contains unexpected plot twists. This leads to some continuity errors, such as in season 3, after Jack Bauer kills Nina Myers. The clock hits the hour mark, thus signalling the end of the show directly after Jack commits the murder. In the next episode which continues on from exactly the last moment, several CTU staff already know about the murder and are reviewing the security footage less that 20 seconds into the episode. While the show only has 44 minutes of airtime, the real time clock of the show continues to tick during the commercials, emphasizing the reality of the 24 hours of the season in which the characters work. Finally, 24 has avoided flashbacks with one exception in Season 1 and it does not use slow motion techniques, even on moments of rapid action or sleight-of-hand, which other franchises might choose to emphasize in that way.

Actual show run time without commercials is approximately 44 minutes, as is typical for hour-long television shows on many commercial stations. However, the effect only works if episodes are shown with commercial breaks during the show and then only if these are inserted at the right points in time and have the same length, which may not fit in with the normal programming of a commercial station.

Watched continuously, each season would take approximately 17 hours to finish. This real-time nature is emphasized by an on-screen digital clock appearing before and after commercial breaks, with a distinct beeping noise for each second, alternating between B and C sharp tones. The sound associated with the on-screen digital clock is occasionally not played to signify highly emotional moments, such as the death of a main character or in the conclusion of certain season finales. The producers and fans have dubbed this the 'Silent Clock', and its use has become a hallmark of the show. This time corresponds to the in-universe time of the show. The characters will often place time windows (such as the common "within the hour") on certain events such as terrorist threats, thus foreshadowing the attack, or event, that may occur before the end of the episode.

The action switches between different locations tracing parallel adventures of different characters involved in the same overarching plot. As a result, there may be long sections of unseen narrative for each character, in which case a character may only be seen for a portion of an episode's overall running time. 24 employs fast-paced and complex plots. Though each day's events typically revolve around thwarting an impending terrorist attack, the series maintains an episodic format by requiring its characters to investigate leads on terrorists. Each lead normally takes roughly an hour and introduces the next episode's lead in the closing minutes. The exact objective of the day may also change over the course of the season, as the terrorists adapt, contingencies arise, and schemes portray larger scale operations.

Characters forced to allow tragic events to happen, for the sake of a greater good, is a recurring theme. In Season 2, a Dept. of Defense staffer has the chance to warn CTU of an imminent attack on their building, but argues doing so would alert the culprits, and allow a valuable trail to go cold. The sitting President is often faced with difficult decisions; as in Season 6, when President Wayne Palmer asks Jack Bauer to sacrifice himself in exchange for the location of a known terrorist.

The first season began and ended at midnight, and during its ninth episode (8:00 - 9:00 AM) Jack mentioned that he had already been awake for 24 hours. Later seasons have tended to use a different time window, starting in the morning, with the exception of Season 3, which began and ended at 1PM, and Season 8, which will begin and end at 4PM, to allow filming to begin in the summer when there are more daylight hours available. This also makes for a more realistic period of time for the characters in the show to be continuously awake, in addition to plot elements such as 24-hour crises and worst-case scenarios.

Jack and others employ the use of torture or threats of torture in nearly every situation in order to extract information. CTU has also used "hyoscine-pentothal", a fictional pain-inducing drug, in interrogation sessions where quick results are needed. This has been used on both agents and antagonists, and its hypothetical effects are unlike those of the real hyoscine and pentothal. The show has been criticized by human rights groups for its over-use of torture scenes. In response, the shows writers have said that they will try to include fewer torture scenes in future episodes, not as a concession, but because it was starting to overwhelm the storytelling.


Immediately prior to 24, series co-creators Joel Surnow and Robert Cochran executive-produced La Femme Nikita for its entire five-year run on USA Network. Both series deal with anti-terrorist operations, and the lead characters of both series are placed in situations where they must make a tragic choice in order to serve the greater good. As a result, the on- and off-screen creative connections between 24 and La Femme Nikita are highly pronounced. Numerous actors from La Femme Nikita have portrayed similar roles on 24, a number of story concepts from La Femme Nikita have been revisited on 24, and many of the creative personnel from La Femme Nikita currently work (or have worked) on 24 in the same capacity.

In addition, 24 borrows some aspects of the 1997 film Air Force One, namely the plane itself and the use of the 25th amendment. In Seasons 2, 4 and 6, Air Force One can be seen (although in Season 6 it is actually Air Force Two, as it is the Vice President on board) and the series reused the same set as the one featured in the movie. Additionally, five actors featured on 24Xander Berkeley, Glenn Morshower, Wendy Crewson, Timothy Carhart and Spencer Garrett—appeared in the film Air Force One.


24 is known for making major changes to its main cast every season—the exceptions being Kiefer Sutherland, who is the only main cast member to star in all seven seasons—and all 168 episodes—to date. Glenn Morshower, who plays Aaron Pierce has also starred in all seven seasons, and background extra Michael Jacey (who plays Agent John) is the only actor besides Sutherland and Morshower to appear in the first six seasons. Due to the unpredictable nature of each season's storyline, main cast members are added and dropped frequently. Most cases an actor will have a recurring role before becoming a main cast member in a subsequent season. In a few cases, guest stars have been upgraded to main cast members during the course of a season; this occured with Lana Parrilla and Roger Cross in season four. Main cast members who return from prior seasons—whether they return for one episode or the better part of a season—are often given a "Special Guest Star" billing, although this is also used for other cast members who are well-known film actors, like Richard Burgi, Dennis Hopper, Powers Boothe, Sean Astin, and James Cromwell. The "Special Guest Appearance by" billing has also been used for Dennis Haysbert in seasons four and five and Jon Voight in Redemption and season seven.

Main characters

= Status of character in last appearance or mention in a televised episode of 24

* = Attached to star/currently in production
** = Was moved from guest star to main cast member midseason, during ''Season 4'' only. ===Notable guest stars=== ''24'' features a large number of guest characters in every season. Below are the guest stars who have made the most guest appearances during the first seven seasons. {| class="wikitable sortable collapsible collapsed" |- ! Actor || Character || class="unsortable"|Seasons || Episode Count || Status |- |[[Jude Ciccolella]] || [[Mike Novick]] || [[24 (season 1)|1]], [[24 (season 2)|2]], [[24 (season 4)|4]], [[24 (season 5)|5]] || 58 || Alive |- |[[Glenn Morshower]] || [[Aaron Pierce]] || [[24 (season 1)|1]], [[24 (season 2)|2]], [[24 (season 3)|3]], [[24 (season 4)|4]], [[24 (season 5)|5]], [[24 (season 6)|6]], [[24 (season 7)|7]]|| 49 || Alive |- |[[Paul Schulze]] || [[Ryan Chappelle]] || [[24 (season 1)|1]], [[24 (season 2)|2]], [[24 (season 3)|3]] || 23 || Deceased |- |[[Zachary Quinto]] || [[Adam Kaufman (24 character)|Adam Kaufman]] || [[24 (season 3)|3]] || 23 || Alive |- |[[Geoff Pierson]] || [[John Keeler]] || [[24 (season 3)|3]], [[24 (season 4)|4]] || 19 || Unknown |- |[[Daniel Bess]] || [[Rick Allen (24 character)|Rick Allen]] || [[24 (season 1)|1]] || 18 || Alive |- |[[Michelle Forbes]] || [[Lynne Kresge]] || [[24 (season 2)|2]] || 18 || Unknown |- |[[Arnold Vosloo]] || [[Habib Marwan]] || [[24 (season 4)|4]] || 17 || Deceased |- |[[Frank John Hughes]] || [[Minor CTU agents in 24|Tim Woods]] || [[24 (season 7)|7]] || 16 || Alive |- |[[Adoni Maropis]] || [[Abu Fayed]] || [[24 (season 6)|6]] || 15 || Deceased |- |[[Sprague Grayden]] || [[Olivia Taylor]] || [[24 (season 7)|7]] || 14 || Alive |- |[[Laura Harris]] || [[Marie Warner]] || [[24 (season 2)|2]] || 14 || Alive |- |[[Jesse Borrego]] || [[Gael Ortega]] || [[24 (season 3)|3]] || 14 || Deceased |- |[[Powers Boothe]] || [[Noah Daniels]] || [[24 (season 6)|6]] || 14 || Alive |- |[[Željko Ivanek]] || [[Andre Drazen]] || [[24 (season 1)|1]] || 14 || Deceased |- |[[Vicellous Shannon]] || [[Keith Palmer (24 character)|Keith Palmer]] || [[24 (season 1)|1]],[[24 (season 2)|2]] || 13 || Alive |- |[[Joaquim de Almeida]] || [[Ramon Salazar (24 character)|Ramon Salazar]] || [[24 (season 3)|3]] || 12 || Deceased |- |[[Vincent Laresca]] || [[Hector Salazar (24 character)|Hector Salazar]] || [[24 (season 3)|3]] || 12 || Deceased |- |[[Tzi Ma]] || [[Cheng Zhi]] || [[24 (season 4)|4]], [[24 (season 5)|5]], [[24 (season 6)|6]] || 12 || Alive |- |[[Michael Massee]] || [[Ira Gaines]] || [[24 (season 1)|1]] || 12 || Deceased |- |[[Ricky Schroder]] || [[Mike Doyle (24 character)|Mike Doyle]] || [[24 (season 6)|6]] || 12 || Unknown |- |[[Rena Sofer]] || [[Marilyn Bauer]] || [[24 (season 6)|6]] || 12 || Alive |- |[[Jonathan Ahdout]] || [[Behrooz Araz]] || [[24 (season 4)|4]] || 12 || Alive |- |[[Shohreh Aghdashloo]] || [[Dina Araz]] || [[24 (season 4)|4]] || 12 || Deceased |- |[[Nick Jameson]] || [[Yuri Suvarov]] || [[24 (season 5)|5]], [[24 (season 6)|6]] || 12 || Alive |- |[[John Allen Nelson]] || [[Walt Cummings]] || [[24 (season 4)|4]], [[24 (season 5)|5]] || 12 || Deceased |- |[[John Terry (actor)|John Terry]] || [[Bob Warner (24)|Bob Warner]] || [[24 (season 2)|2]] || 12 || Alive |- |[[Vanessa Ferlito]] || [[Claudia Hernandez (24 character)|Claudia Hernandez]] || [[24 (season 3)|3]] || 11 || Deceased |- |[[Nestor Serrano]] || [[Minor characters in 24#Season Four 4|Navi Araz]] || [[24 (season 4)|4]], || 11 || Deceased |- |[[Christina Chang]] || [[Minor characters in 24#Season Three 3|Sunny Macer]] || [[24 (season 3)|3]], [[24 (season 7)|7]] || 11 || Alive |- |[[Peter Weller]] || [[Christopher Henderson]] || [[24 (season 5)|5]] || 11 || Deceased |- |[[Daniel Dae Kim]] || [[Minor CTU agents in 24|Tom Baker]] || [[24 (season 2)|2]], [[24 (season 3)|3]] || 11 || Alive |- |[[Sean Astin]] || [[Lynn McGill]] || [[24 (season 5)|5]] || 10 || Deceased |- |[[Kari Matchett]] || [[Lisa Miller (24 character)|Lisa Miller]] || [[24 (season 6)|6]] || 10 || Alive |- |[[Jon Voight]] || [[Jonas Hodges]] || [[24 (season 7)|7]] || 10 || Deceased |- |[[Hakeem Kae-Kazim]] || [[Ike Dubaku]] || [[24 (season 7)|7]] || 9 || Deceased |- |[[Mia Kirshner]] || [[Mandy (24 character)|Mandy]] || [[24 (season 1)|1]], [[24 (season 2)|2]], [[24 (season 4)|4]] || 7 || Alive |} - status of character as of last mention or appearance in a televised episode
* = Attached to star/in production. ==Plot synopsis== ===Seasons 1–7=== [[Image:24 filming in georgetown.jpg|thumb|right|upright|[[Kiefer Sutherland]] (Jack Bauer) and [[Carlos Bernard]] (Tony Almeida) in [[Georgetown, Washington, D.C.|Georgetown]], [[Washington, D.C.]] for filming of ''24'' in October 2007.]] '''[[24 (season 1)|Season 1]]''' begins and ends at 12:00 AM, and occurs on the day of the California presidential primary. Jack Bauer must protect Senator David Palmer from an assassination plot, and rescue his own family from those responsible for the plot, who seek retribution for Jack's and David Palmer's involvement with a covert U.S. mission in the Balkans. Set 18 months after season 1, ''' [[24 (season 2)|season 2]]''' begins and ends at 8:00 AM. Jack must stop a nuclear bomb from detonating in Los Angeles, then assist President David Palmer in proving who is responsible for the threat. Set 3 years after season 2, '''[[24 (season 3)|season 3]]''' begins and ends at 1:00 PM. While struggling with a heroin addiction, Jack must re-infiltrate a Mexican drug cartel in order to acquire a deadly virus being marketed underground. Meanwhile, President David Palmer is preparing for a live presidential debate in the run up to elections. Set 18 months after season 3, '''[[24 (season 4)|season 4]]''' begins and ends at 7:00 AM. Jack must save the lives of Secretary Heller (his new boss) and Heller's daughter Audrey Raines (with whom Jack is romantically involved) when they are kidnapped by terrorists. The same terrorists then launch further attacks against America, and Jack is forced to use unorthodox methods to stop them, which will have long-term consequences for both Jack and the U.S. Set 18 months after season 4, '''[[24 (season 5)|season 5]]''' begins and ends at 7:00 AM. Jack is believed to be dead by everyone except a few of his closest friends. He is forced to resurface when his friends are targeted and he is framed for the murders of the people who knew he was alive. Terrorists with connections to the U.S. government attempt to steal nerve gas in order to protect U.S. oil interests in Asia, and Jack discovers an insidious conspiracy while trying to stop them. Set 20 months after season 5, '''[[24 (season 6)|season 6]]''' begins and ends at 6:00 AM. Jack is released after being detained in a Chinese prison for twenty months. Terrorists plot to set off [[suitcase bomb|suitcase nuclear devices]] in the United States and Jack must stop them; later, Jack has to choose between his loved ones and national security when the Chinese set their sights on sensitive circuitry that could trigger a war between the U.S. and Russia. '''''[[24: Redemption|Redemption]]''''' is a [[television movie]] which aired on November 23, 2008, bridging the gap between the sixth and seventh seasons of 24. Set four years after Season 6, Jack finds himself caught up in a military coup in the fictional African nation of Sangala. Meanwhile, in the United States, it is Inauguration Day, where [[Allison Taylor (24 character)|Allison Taylor]] is being sworn into office as President. Set shortly after the events of [[24: Redemption|Redemption]], '''[[24 (season 7)|season 7]]''' begins and ends at 8:00 AM. A major national security incident occurs when the firewall responsible for protecting America's government computer infrastructure is breached by the same people responsible for a conflict in Sangala. A larger conspiracy involving government officials and [[private military company|private military contractor]]s is revealed as the season progresses. The season features the show's first female president, [[Allison Taylor (24 character)|Allison Taylor]], and is the first season to completely take place outside Los Angeles. {{cite web|url=http://digiex.net/media/706-24-series-7-preview-high-quality-download.html|date=2008-11-26|title="24"}} ===Season 8=== {{Main|24 (season 8)}} 24 will return for a two-night premiere on Sunday, Jan. 17 at 9/8c and Monday, Jan. 18 at 8/7c before it replaces [[Lie to Me]] on Mondays at 9/8c for the rest of its run. {{cite news |author=Kate Stanhope | title=Fox Lines Up Midseason Premieres| url=http://www.tvguide.com/News/Fox-Lines-Midseason-1012574.aspx| work=TVGuide.com}} Kiefer Sutherland will return for the 8th season,{{cite news | title=Sutherland says he's on for 8th season of '24' | url=http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/29859071/ | publisher=msnbc.com | agency=Associated Press | date=2009-03-24 | accessdate=2009-03-24}} which he revealed the starting timeline for as beginning very quickly after the end of season 7.{{cite web | title= Kiefer Sutherland Talks '24', Season 8 - ITN Youtube Video | url= http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oFF1g6T5aP4| publisher=ITN.co.uk | author=ITN | date=2009-04-12 | accessdate=2009-04-20}} However, more recent information has described the timeline as further into the future, making Jack's granddaughter, Teri, old enough for meaningful dialogue. [[Cherry Jones]], [[Mary Lynn Rajskub]], and [[Annie Wersching]] are the only main cast members from season 7 who will also be returning as main cast members in season 8. [[Elisha Cuthbert]] will once again appear as a "Special Guest Star" and Bob Gunton will be back as Ethan Kanin, but this time as a recurring role and with Kanin as Secretary of State. As for Carlos Bernard's role as Tony Almeida, the show's producers have not confirmed, nor denied, the fact that Bernard will appear in season 8. Additional cast members include [[Anil Kapoor]] (as a Middle Eastern leader named Omar Hassan), Jennifer Westfeldt ''(Kissing Jessica Stein)'' and John Boyd ''(The Notorious Bettie Page)'' who were confirmed on the day production was slated to begin.{{cite web | title= Two clock in at '24' | url= http://www.reuters.com/article/televisionNews/idUSTRE54Q0NP20090527 | publisher=THR.com | author=THR.com | date=2009-05-26 | accessdate=2009-05-27}} Westfeldt will play journalist Meredith Reed, while Boyd will play CTU systems analyst Jonah Schwartz. Footage from Season 8 that aired at Comic Con was leaked onto Youtube[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5B3gz4TTsD4&annotation_id=annotation_674852&feature=iv], showing plot line introduction and the new CTU. Set 18 months after season 7, season 8 begins and ends at 4:00 PM, unfolding in New York City amidst the shadows of the Statue of Liberty and the United Nations where CTU has been upgraded and is run by the MBA-schooled Brian Hastings ([[Mykelti Williamson]]).{{cite web|url=http://www.tvguide.com/News/24-Mykelti-Williamson-1006456.aspx|title=24 Hires Mykelti Williamson to Take Charge of CTU|date=May 29, 2009|accessdate=July 22, 2009}} Cole Ortiz ([[Freddie Prinze Jr.]]), a former Marine who wants to follow in Jack Bauer’s footsteps, runs the division’s Field Operations. Expert data analyst Dana Walsh ([[Katee Sackhoff]]) collaborates with systems analyst Arlo Glass inside CTU. Rob Weiss serves as President Alison Taylor’s new chief of staff, and Meredith Reed is an ambitious journalist with ties to the unfolding situation. Jack Bauer is simply a man who wants to move on with his life and be with his daughter and granddaughter, but plans come to a halt when, once again, America needs his help. ==Impact== {{Main|Critical reaction to 24 (TV series)}} Because of the "real-time" storytelling approach to ''24'', and the series' willingness to directly address the threat of terrorism, the implementation of torture as a way to acquire information and the use and misuse of government authority, the series has generated a sizable critical reaction, both positive and negative. The series and the main character, Jack Bauer, have been accused of promoting the use of excessive violence and torture in the minds of the voting public, in part to support the policies of the Bush Administration.{{cite web | author = Ray McGovern | work = CIA | date= 2007-12-12| title = Are Americans Really Better Than That | url = http://www.commondreams.org/archive/2007/12/12/5794/ }} ''[[Slate (magazine)|Slate]]'' magazine commented that the United States' torture policy has deeper roots in ''24'' than in the [[U.S. Constitution]].{{cite web | author = Dahlia Lithwick | work = Slate magazine | date= 2008-07-27| title = Our torture policy has deeper roots in Fox television than the Constitution | url = http://www.slate.com/id/2195864/?from=rss}} In Germany and Switzerland, ''24'' is under criticism due to its glorification of governmental tortures and its permanent violation of human rights (e.g. privacy, [[dragnet (policing)|dragnet]], computer surveillance, etc.).[http://www.sueddeutsche.de/politik/423/352255/text/ US-Fernsehserie ''24'' - Folter als Teil einer nationalen Mythologie - Ausland - sueddeutsche.de ][http://www.medienheft.ch/kritik/bibliothek/k07_ArnoldJudith_4.html Folterszenen im Schweizer Fernsehen - Kontroverse um die US-Serie "24 - Twenty Four" - Judith Arnold] The series has won numerous [[Emmy Award]]s for its technical and artistic achievements. In 2008, ''[[Empire (magazine)|Empire]]'' magazine ranked ''24'' as the sixth greatest television show of all-time.{{cite web|date=2008-04-30|title=The 50 Greatest TV Shows of All Time|url= http://www.empireonline.com/50greatesttv/default.asp?tv=6}} ===U.S. television ratings=== Seasonal rankings (based on average total viewers per episode) of ''24'' on FOX. ''Note: Most US network television seasons start in mid-September and end in late May, which coincides with the completion of [[Nielsen Ratings|May sweeps]]. However,'' 24 ''begins its season in January and runs new episodes non-stop until May, a trend which began after many fans grew unhappy with constant pre-emptions. Two new episodes are often shown on the same night, and the entire season takes less than 24 weeks to air. '' 24 ''airs during February and May sweeps.'' {| class="wikitable" |- ! Season ! Timeslot ! Premiere ! Finale ! Rank ! Viewers (M) |- | '''[[24 (season 1)|1]]''' | Tuesdays 9/8c | November 6, 2001 | May 21, 2002 | '''#76''' | 8.60{{cite news|url=http://www.michigandaily.com/media/storage/paper851/news/2002/10/29/Arts/24.Makes.Its.Triumphant.Return.On.Fox-1413405.shtml?norewrite200609030222&sourcedomain=www.michigandaily.com|archiveurl=http://web.archive.org/web/20080610061314/http://www.michigandaily.com/media/storage/paper851/news/2002/10/29/Arts/24.Makes.Its.Triumphant.Return.On.Fox-1413405.shtml?norewrite200609030222&sourcedomain=www.michigandaily.com|archivedate=2008-06-10|source=Michigan Daily|date=October 29, 2002|title=Michigan Daily: '24' makes its triumphant return on FOX}} |- | '''[[24 (season 2)|2]]''' | Tuesdays 9/8c | October 29, 2002 | May 20, 2003 | '''#36''' | 11.73{{cite web|url=http://www.quotenmeter.de/index.php?newsid=9938|date=2003-06-01|title=US-Jahrescharts 2002/2003|accessdate=2008-07-04}}{{Dead link|url=http://www.quotenmeter.de/index.php?newsid=9938|date=September 2009}} |- | '''[[24 (season 3)|3]]''' | Tuesdays 9/8c | October 28, 2003 | May 25, 2004 | '''#42''' | 10.30{{cite news|url=http://my.brandeis.edu/news/item?news_item_id=103458&show_release_date=1|source=Boston Globe|date=January 16, 2005|title=Boston Globe: TV producers have to be agile to deal with ratings, say experts}} |- | '''[[24 (season 4)|4*]]''' | Mondays 9/8c | January 9, 2005 | May 23, 2005 | '''#29''' | 11.90{{cite news|url=http://www.ew.com/ew/article/0,,1143221,00.html|source=Entertainment Weekly|date=January 9, 2006|title=Entertainment Weekly on AOL: The Worst Day Ever}} |- | '''[[24 (season 5)|5*]]''' | Mondays 9/8c | January 15, 2006 | May 22, 2006 | '''#24''' | 13.78{{cite web|url=http://www.abcmedianet.com/pressrel/dispDNR.html?id=053106_05|archiveurl=http://web.archive.org/web/20061108234407/http://abcmedianet.com/pressrel/dispDNR.html?id=053106_05|archivedate=2006-11-08|archiveurl=http://web.archive.org/web/20070310210300/http://www.abcmedianet.com/pressrel/dispDNR.html?id=053106_05|archivedate=2007-03-10|title=Viewership numbers of primetime programs during the 2005  – 06 television season}} |- | '''[[24 (season 6)|6*]]''' | Mondays 9/8c | January 14, 2007 | May 21, 2007 | '''#27''' | 13.00{{cite news|url=http://www.givememyremote.com/remote/2006-07-primetime-ratings/|source=Give Me My Remote|date=May 29, 2007|title=Give Me My Remote: 2006-07 primetime ratings}} ''Note:'' Click on ratings list "22-48" for '24's ratings |- |'''[[24: Redemption|Redemption^]]''' | Sunday 8/7c |align="center" colspan=2| November 23, 2008 | '''#16 (tied)''' | 12.12 |- | '''[[24 (season 7)|7*]]''' | Mondays 9/8c | January 11, 2009 | May 18, 2009 | '''#20''' | 12.62{{cite news|url=http://abcmedianet.com/web/dnr/dispDNR.aspx?id=060209_05| sourcedomain=www.abcmedianet.com|source=ABC|date=May 31, 2009|title=ABC Ratings: 2008-09 season ratings to date}} |- |'''[[24 (season 8)|8*]]''' | Mondays 9/8c | January 17, 2010 | May 24, 2010 | | |} *= ''Indicates a "non-stop" season, in which the season did not start at the beginning of the television season in September, but rather in January (the start of mid-season) to air new episodes every week until its season finale in May.'' ^ = Indicates 24: Redemption, the made for television movie and the rating was for the movie only.

Viewership increased midway through its second season when the mega-hit American Idol became the lead-in to 24 starting in February 2003. For its fourth season, FOX gave the show a vote of confidence by moving 24 out of the post-American Idol time slot (to make room for the eventual hit drama, House) and placed it on Monday nights at 9:00 p.m. Eastern (8:00 p.m. Central) while it aired the show in consecutive weeks, beginning in mid-January of 2005. The consecutive-week schedule was also implemented for 2006, beginning in mid-January 2006.

In comparison to its 2005 season, 24 in 2006 was up 16% in overall viewers and 14% in viewers of the advertiser-friendly 18 –49 age demographic. Thus, the series has so far reached its ratings peak in 2006. Ratings have remained steady, therefore 24 has managed to retain most of its audience through its entire run thus far. This circumstance is unlike other serialized shows such as Lost, Prison Break and Heroes, which have lost much of their respective audiences over subsequent seasons.

The sixth season's two-night, four-hour premiere, broadcast in 2007, garnered the largest audience in 24's history, averaging 15.7 million viewers and an overall 33 million viewers over the two nights. Ratings peaked at one point to 16.3 million. By comparison, the precedent seventh season's two-night, four-hour premiere, broadcast in 2009, decreased slightly in viewers, averaging an overall 27 million viewers over the two nights.

Viewership has increased steadily for 24, except for a slight fall in the third season. FOX was able to continue gaining audience share in 2005 and 2006 with non-stop seasons and the number of viewers was up over 60% in season 5 vs season 1. In more recent seasons ratings have dipped slightly, but this can be attributed to the increased prevalence of online means to watch episodes, as this slight reduction in ratings is not limited to 24.


24 has won and been nominated for various television awards, at events such as the Golden Globes and the Primetime Emmys. It has been nominated in various categories, including acting, directing, writing, editing, sound, music score, and stunt coordination. The series was nominated for Best Drama Series at the Golden Globes in 2002, 2003, 2005, and 2007; while winning the award in 2004. Kiefer Sutherland was nominated at the Golden Globes in 2003, 2004, 2006, 2007, and 2009; while winning the award in 2002. The series has been nominated for Best Drama Series at the Primetime Emmys in 2002, 2003, 2004, and 2005; while winning the award in 2006. Kiefer Sutherland has been nominated at the Primetime Emmys in 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2007, and 2009; while winning the award in 2006. 24's fifth season was its most successful for awards, as that season earned the series 12 nominations with 5 wins, including winning Best Drama Series and Best Lead Actor in a Drama for Kiefer Sutherland, while Jon Cassar won for Best Directing. That year also earned Best Supporting Actor/Actress nominations for Gregory Itzin and Jean Smart. In 2009, Cherry Jones won the Primetime Emmy Award for Best Supporting Actress in a Drama.


24 is widely broadcast in other parts of the world, including Canada, Africa, Europe, Latin America, Asia, Australia, New Zealand and the Middle East.

Kiefer Sutherland attributes the show's support from Fox to its early success in the UK. Its viewership there, however, decreased significantly when the BBC lost the rights to subscription channel Sky1 after the second season.

The release of 24 on DVD has had a significant impact on the success of the television series. In an interview with IGN in 2002, Sutherland revealed, "[24's] success in England was phenomenal. It was the biggest show the BBC has ever had. It was the number one DVD there, knocking off Lord of the Rings, which is unheard of for a television show DVD to actually knock-out every feature DVD available. And that's because they showed it without commercials." The U.S. sales of the Season 1 DVDs increased the audience size of Season 2 by 25%.

At CES 2007, Fox Home Entertainment announced the complete first season of 24 would be released on the Blu-ray disc format in early 2007 although this never came to fruition.

The Region 1 DVD releases of 24 strictly emphasize actor Kiefer Sutherland on the cover art for all six seasons to date, while the Region 2 & 4 DVDs instead echo the series' split-screen format by featuring the major players in each respective season. This presented audiences who had not seen the TV broadcast (since the series moved to premium channel Sky One) in the UK with a large spoiler on the front cover of season four—which featured 'surprise' special guest star Tony Almeida.

A "limited special edition" of Day Six is also available in the United States. In addition to the DVDs, the box includes a booklet with an episode guide, each major character's job description and biographical information, and script excerpts. A limited edition of Day Six is also released in the United Kingdommarker, available from HMV stores.

In mid-2007, the first four seasons were re-issued, featuring slim-packaging in line with the season 5 release, and improved video quality, especially in the first season, which was initially rushed to DVD. The metallic "24" logo has also been dropped in favor of the seven segment display logo.

Fox announced a special edition re-release of season 1, which was released on May 20, 2008. The new set includes a 7th disc of bonus features, while disks 1-6 contain all 24 episodes with deleted scenes, audio commentary, and 5 extended episodes. The set is released in a steel box.

When the announcement of the DVD release for Season 7 happened, it was also announced that the 7th Season would be released on Blu-ray, making it the show's first season to be released on the format.

Seasons 1-7 are also available for purchase on iTunes.
DVD Release Episodes Originally aired Release date
Region 1 Region 2 Region 4

24 2001 –2002 September 17, 2002 October 14, 2002 December 2002

One: Special Edition
24 2001 –2002 May 20, 2008 TBD TBD

24 2002 –2003 September 9, 2003 August 11, 2003 September 2003

24 2003 –2004 December 7, 2004 August 9, 2004 September 2004

24 2005 December 6, 2005 August 8, 2005 November 2005

24 2006 December 5, 2006 November 6, 2006 December 6, 2006

24 2007 December 4, 2007 October 1, 2007 September 19, 2007
24: Redemption 1 (Two hours) 2008 November 25, 2008 December 1, 2008 February 11, 2009
Season Seven

& Blu-ray
24 2009 May 19, 2009 October 19, 2009 November 11, 2009

Feature film

A feature film adaptation of 24 was originally planned to be shot during the hiatus between the sixth and seventh seasons. Series creators Joel Surnow and Robert Cochran planned to write the script with showrunner Howard Gordon working on story. Filming was to take place in Londonmarker, Praguemarker, and Moroccomarker. Jon Cassar revealed in an interview "I think the idea is to do an hour of it that sets it up where you can go around the world and set up a story in normal film time, and probably the last hour will be in real time – something like that."

Plans for the movie were later put on hold. Kiefer Sutherland stated, "It's impossible to ask writers to work on the show and then come up with an amazing film we can shoot in the break between series."

Executive Producer Howard Gordon says on the future-film, "My hope is to go [shoot the feature film] after the eighth season. That's sort of what we're aiming for. I think that a big-screen 24 will be a fitting send off for Jack."

It is now thought that a film would be made after the eighth season, and that filming could still take place outside of the USA, with London thought to be a possible location.

Other media

The success of 24 has led to the series being extended into other arenas, including media specifically created for mobile devices and the Internet. One can now see any 24 episode from any season on the FOX website and on iPhones and T-Mobile phones.In addition, the series has spawned video and board games, toys, soundtracks from both the series and the video game, and a number of original novels inspired by the series, as well as a number of "behind-the-scenes" books.A feature film based upon the series has been written but the project has been put on hold to focus on Seasons 7 and 8.


  1. 24 last year, no season nine? | TV Series Finale
  2. BBC NEWS Magazine The clock's ticking on torture
  3. Torture works on 24, but not for real Opinion The First Post
  4. IGN staff, "CES 2007: 24, Prison Break Hit Blu-ray", Jan. 8, 2007.
  5. Currently only available to viewers living in the United States, according to the FOX website.

Further reading

  • Steven Keslowitz, The Tao of Jack Bauer: What Our Favorite Terrorist Buster Says About Life, Love, Torture, and Saving the World 24 Times in 24 Hours With No Lunch Break (2009).
  • Steven Keslowitz, The Simpsons, 24, and the Law: How Homer Simpson and Jack Bauer Influence Congressional Lawmaking and Judicial Reasoning, 29 Cardozo Law Review 2787 (May 2008).

External links

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